Simple Steps to Improve the Candidate Experience Organizations spend a lot of time and resources trying to improve retention rates. From focusing on training to benefits to time off and overall corporate culture, keeping employees engaged and content should be top priorities, or you’ll find yourself on the hunt for talent more times than not. When those inevitable periods of recruitment occur, whether it’s filling positions vacated by valued employees or new opportunities arising from growth, it’s important to focus on your candidates much like you would with your employees. Doing so not only gives your potential employees an opportunity to see what it’s like working with you, but it improves the overall experience for both sides. Simplicity We understand that there can be a lot of processes and organizational norms that have been put in place over the years when it comes to selecting and interviewing candidates. Some of these are probably extremely necessary and some are probably relics of days past that can be cut out. Take some time to go over your processes and remove anything superfluous. Why? Because the smoother and easier the process is for the candidate, the better chance you have of landing them for your position. If the recruiting process is long and clunky and filled with roadblocks, they’ll move on and leave you having to start over. Make it simple for them to apply. Make it simple for them to contact you. Make it simple for them to interview. That will make it simple for them to say yes. Listen and Respond If you ask the right questions and truly care about what a candidate has to say, they’ll tell you everything you need to know about them. All you need to do is listen and respond accordingly. During the recruiting process, organizations can get all wrapped up in what they need and what they are looking for due to years of tradition and processes. What if a candidate can provide you insight into how other companies are doing things and having success? You’ll never know until you listen to what they have to say. And, who knows? Even if that candidate turns out to be a bad fit for the position, two things could happen. 1) They can give you pertinent information on who to look for and what to avoid and 2) they may be a great fit for somewhere else within your organization sometime in the future. One thing is for sure, truly listening to what they have to say improves their experience tenfold. Honesty Being led along has happened to all of us at some point or another in our careers. It’s not fun. Don’t do it to your candidates. From the very start, be honest and straightforward. Let them know exactly what you expect out of the employee filling the position they are applying for. Let them know the good and bad about your current corporate culture and how they can help improve it. Show them how you plan to move them along in their career. They’ll appreciate you for it. It’s not hard for candidates to research your organization and find out if what you told them is credible. People talk, with social media now more than ever to a much larger audience. Being less than honest and straightforward will damage your reputation and not only lose you a great candidate, but anyone within earshot of them for years to come. All these areas can be difficult to navigate, and many organizations fall short even if they have the best of intentions. But when done well, the effort is worth it. How you treat a candidate from the moment they apply for your organization can greatly impact the experience they have as an employee. Stephanie Cox Stephanie Cox is a Recruiter, Talent Acquisition for Oasis, a Paychex® Company and specializes in recruiting C-level Executives and other high level positions from Human Resources to Sales and Marketing. She grew up in West Des Moines and attended Central College in Pella, Iowa. She loves being a recruiter because she enjoys getting to know candidates and helping them achieve goals in their career path. Stephanie is married to Spencer Cox with four children. In her free time, she enjoys coaching youth softball and running around to her kids' activities.